The Best Way to Pack Fragile Items Before Moving

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Any person will tell you that moving is stressful. One of the main reasons behind the stress is the very real possibility of something being broken during transport. Just think about it; how often has it happened to you? You pack everything up, and all of a sudden a single bump in the road shakes the van and there’s a sound of glass shattering.

Luckily, professional moving companies, like Oz Moving, are well aware of this issue, which is why they offer packing and storage services to their customers. But let’s say that you aim to do the packing yourself and save some money in the process. Is there a proper way to do it so that no item ends up in pieces?

In this article, we will go over the best possible methods of packing fragile items and sensitive equipment before moving. Not only will these methods help you during a move, but you can also apply them if you plan on moving your items to a storage space or aim to give them away in bulk.

Getting the Right Packing Materials

Protective packaging materials are a must with every move. By wrapping or placing an item in a special shock-absorbing material, you can rest easy that it will survive any trip.

Now, obviously, you will need a lot of cardboard boxes and tape first. But in order to keep those glasses, bowls, laptops, and toasters secure, you’ll also require one of the materials listed below:

  • Bubblewrap
  • Padded dividers
  • Packaging shavings
  • Styrofoam packing peanuts
  • Packaging foam
  • Packing paper

In addition to buying new packing materials, you can always reuse old ones. For example, electronic equipment usually comes in special styrofoam sleeves that are tailor-made for those specific products. So, when packing, simply rewrap the device into these sleeves and you’ll be good to go.

Packing Glassware

Glassware can shatter easily if you don’t know what you’re doing. So, while packing, follow these simple steps.

Step #1: Choose small boxes. If you place the glassware in a small package, there is less chance of the items moving around, i.e., less chance of them breaking. In addition, you can easily move small boxes around and rearrange them as you see fit.

Step #2: Cushion the inside of the box with bubble wrap. You can also use packing peanuts.

Step #3: Place packing paper inside of glass items while wrapping the stems with bubble wrap.

Step #4: Wrap ceramics in a similar way. With plates and bowls, place packing paper or bubble wrap between each piece and then wrap up the entire stack in packing paper.

Step #5: If there is any extra room in the box left, stack it with packing materials so that you can add an extra layer of padding.

Packing Artwork and Home Décor

Art is a bit different when it comes to packing. After all, you have to store a painting in a specific area with controlled temperature and humidity levels. So, if you have lots of paintings, here are a few steps to undertake when packing them.

Step #1: Use corner protectors on framed paintings. Cardboard protectors will do fine, though there are other, more durable options out there.

Step #2: Use a plastic sleeve for your painting. Alternatively, you can simply wrap it in plastic.

Step #3: Place the piece in a box with lots of padding material.

When it comes to home décor, such as lamps, vases, porcelain ashtrays, etc., you need to follow the same steps you did with packing glassware. In other words, use lots of bubble wrap, wrapping paper, and small boxes.

Packing Electronics

As stated earlier, electronics such as television sets, laptops, printers, scanners, etc. are all packed with their own padding. So, if you have the original boxes for these products, it’s definitely a good idea to use them. Aside from that, you will also need to perform a few extra steps.

Step #1: Make sure to use the original styrofoam or foam padding. If you can’t find it, use packing foam and cut the right amount you need to pad the device in its original box.

Step #2: Take out any batteries from small devices. That way you reduce the risk of any battery acid leaks.

Step #3: If you’re packing a printer, take the ink cartridges/toners out.

Step #4: Use plastic seal wraps to prevent dust from getting in during the move.

Packing Small Appliances and Furniture

Kitchen appliances like mixers, juicers, and coffee makers can contain some fragile items that might break during a move. In addition, you might have a stainless steel or other metal appliance that can scratch during a move. So, the best course of action is to do one of the following:

  • If you still have the original boxes, place each product where it belongs and add some packing materials like bubble wrap or packing peanuts.
  • If you don’t have any original boxes left, make sure to pack each product in as small of a box as possible, with the added padding.

While you’re moving kitchen appliances, you might also consider your new kitchen space and how they will all fit there.

In terms of furniture, you need to take dust into account. Furniture with fabric parts should be wrapped up in plastic covers or drop cloths before you pack it in the moving van. That way, you don’t have to worry about a dusty sofa when you move into your new home.

Packing Instruments

Much like electronics, music instruments have lots of sensitive and fragile parts. So, if possible, transport them in their original packaging and add some more packing material for extra padding. Moving large instruments like pianos will take a bit of effort, but you can also do it yourself if you’re moving on a budget.

Additional Moving Advice on Packing

In this section, we will go over some last-minute advice on packing that will come in handy on any occasion.

  1. Label every single box so you know what goes where.
  2. Package the heaviest items on the bottom of each box.
  3. Get sturdy boxes so that you don’t risk the items falling through the bottom.
  4. Keep the fragile items separate. That way you reduce the chances of them breaking.
  5. Do not rush the process. Instead of packing quickly, pack smart.

Final Thoughts

Moving is already a huge expense, and the last thing you need is for your valuable items to break or crack during the move. Hopefully, this article will help you pack everything neatly and safely before you make that trip to your brand new home.

About The Author: Nancy Zafrani is the general manager of Oz Moving & Storage in NYC. A day-one employee of Oz, she has 25 years of experience in the moving industry. As a New Yorker, Nancy also has lots of experience dealing with small apartments and organizing.
Photo by Wander Fleur on Unsplash

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